After the typical early morning debate of where to hike, we finally settled on visiting Mt. Monroe. Mike attempted this once before, but he didn’t summit. Today seemed to be the perfect day to attack Monroe. Our route was up the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail to Mt. Monroe Loop to Crawford Path to Edmands Path, ending with a two mile road walk back to the car.
This was my second time on the Ammo and I love it. This would be Mike’s third time. My first experience was when we tackled Mount Washington over a year ago. The first 2.1 miles to the Gem pool was an easy walk in the woods. We passed people, people passed us. It was going to be a busy day on the trail.
I adore the views out on the lower sections of the trail.
At 2.1 miles we reached the Gem Pool, it took us an hour and 20 minutes to reach here. At the Pool, the pile up started.
At this section we ran smack dab into an Army Platoon. We thanked them for serving as we passed the group on their way to Mount Washington. It fed my ego to pass a bunch of military people, I am in better condition than I thought. We talked with the Sergeant leading them and he told us it was 41st time going up to Washington. Very impressive. The leader was funny, he said anyone can do this trail even if you’re fat, but if you are injured you shouldn’t do it. He had sent four guys back down because one was injured and shouldn’t have been on the hike.
Another group we passed, we worried about all day. A few young couples from Australia and Boston were making their first run at Mt. Washington. One young couple were really hurting on the first section of the Gem Pool. The group kept mentioning maybe taking the cog down once they reached the summit. We only hope they had tickets, because I’m pretty sure the cog is packed as it being peak foliage season.
I am not a fan of ladders, but this one isn’t so bad.
Time for the views to open up and start the bear crawl on the ledges.
The sergeant told his platoon to be billy goats on this section. Good advice.
We could start to see the towers of Mount Washington.
Time to work up our way up. Choose carefully.
I love the Ammo because of the views that take my breath away.
We kept running into a French Canadian group. They needed to be reminded of trail manners. A few times they would stop and sit blocking the path. One of them was a smoker who kept stopping for smoking breaks, Yuck I hate smelling your cigarette smoke, stinky hiker body order is preferred over cigarette smoke.
We reach the Lake of the Clouds hut in one hour, 45 minutes from the Gem Pool.
I look up and there is Mt. Monroe waiting for us.
Here I come hut.
The hut was closed. We knew that, some people didn’t. Still a perfect spot to take the pack off, eat lunch and people, doggie watch.
This dog was the sweetest pit bull. Once she had her back on, she was ready to hit the trail to go to Mt. Washington.
After a quick lunch we hit the Mt. Monroe Loop
Looking back at the hut.
The well laid path.
Watching the cog go down.
Mike heading up to Monroe.
The Canadian group sprinted up Monroe to tag it before heading off to Washington. They had fun coming down.
We looked up to the summit and had this view. We wondered would we have the summit to ourselves?
I looked over to a ridge and could make out the line of cairns.
Zoomed in view of the cairns, created to guide the hiker.
We did it, made it to the top of Monroe. I was so happy and the day was beautiful.
Time to continue the loop over Little Monroe.
The views left us speechless. We could see so far off.
Looking down on the Crawford Path, that skirts around Monroe.
This is the type of trail, I truly dislike because of the risk of breaking an ankle by easily missing a rock and stepping between two rocks, snapping an ankle. Luckily this was a short section.
I fell in love with this cairn.
Looking back at Mt. Monroe. We had the summit to ourselves and now there was a crowd.
I admit it, I did skip on this portion. Loved the ridge walking.
We didn’t realize how much we had climbed from the Lake of the Clouds Hut, until we looked back and spotted it way down there.
We finally joined up with the Crawford Path. What a history this trail has.
We spied Mt. Eisenhower off in the distance. We summited that in May of 2012 (sorry no trip report).
Can you see the path to the right in the pine trees? That is where we are going, to Edmands Path.
Where two historic trails meet. We only have a little over 5 miles to reach our car. At this point my legs started to feel fatigued.
I do enjoy Edmands Path, even with the rocky trail.
Looking back to where we were.
The trickiest section of Edmands is crossing this little waterfall area. When we did it over a year ago, it was a bit icy.
We reach the parking lot, but our car is over two miles away in another lot. We tried to hitch a ride, but no luck. One car stopped to ask directions for the cog and when Mike asked for a ride, they said no, sorry no room…ummm there is room in your backseat, only one person is there. Guess the pretty people didn’t want two sweaty hikers in their car. Luckily the views on the road walk were nice. My incentive to move quickly was the restroom waiting in the Ammo lot for me. The only problem with the hut closed and open ridge walking there is no where to discreetly pee.
It was a stunning day on the trail. It was one of those hikes that will surely be in my top 10 list of best hikes ever.
The Details: 8 hrs. 9.7 miles and just beautiful (minus the road walk).
Nice report! Can’t believe no one would give you a ride…that’s surprising.
Great report and pics, HikerGal! I’m done Jackson through Washington, less Monroe, and look forward eagerly to doing this exact hike. Got some great pics on either side of it on other hikes and really excited to traverse Monroe and its subsidiary peaks – love the views you got of Ike in particular.
I considered doing this hike this weekend, but opted for Mt. Liberty, which was a beaut, too. The desire to get above treeline on an extended basis is strong, though, and having plugged my Franconia Range gap, doing the same for the southern Presi;s is compelling.
Thanks again for sharing, so beautifully, this outstanding trek.
Chris Stratton/”Driver 8″
West Hartford, CT
Thanks for reading my blog and replying. Saturday was a great day to be out above tree line, my nose is sunburned to prove it. I heard Liberty had a lot of people on the summit. We lucked out with Monroe, no one was on top when we arrived, had it all to ourselves. As we continued down the path and looked back the summit was packed.
Let me know when you do this trek, would love to hear about it.
Thanks for your reply. I agree with Chaki – surprised you didn’t get a ride, hg, I intend to obviate that by doing a two-car hike with a friend, starting up by the Cog and ending at Mt. Clinton Road. Weather and other circumstances permitting, hoping to do this hike within the next month – really looking forward to a return visit to the moonscape. Love the high Presidentials!
If things work out well next weekend. I plan to come up and hike the Osceolas. They will be #11 and #12 if so. #13-14 for New England. I’m not sure whether I want to bag all 48 in NH – like you I love the reward of big views after a big climb. Once I’ve done a couple dozen, the gravitational pull of 48 will probably be pretty strong for me, though.
Thanks Chris for reading my blog. I think we were late in the afternoon and people were in a rush to catch the cog, were non hikers and just didn’t want to spend time stopping for us. I wish we could do a car spot, but we only have one car up in the whites. Have a great up the Osceolas, haven’t done it yet!! Hike safe.
Great Pictures Ann! That stretch of the Crawford Path between Monroe and Eisenhower is one of my favorite places in the White Mountains!
Thanks for reading my blog. I agree Chris, that section has become one of my favorite places on Earth. Of course I haven’t done the Franconia Ridge yet.